Chris Daly – Live from Denver:
Barack Obama and Grassroots Community Organizing

Written by Chris Daly. Posted in News, Opinion, Politics

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Published on August 26, 2008 with 2 Comments

District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly
Photo by Luke Thomas

 By Chris Daly

August 26, 2008

Denver, CO — A very personal, and very powerful, opening night at the Democratic National Convention was capped by the most-endearing Michelle Obama. But while all the media focuses on Michelle’s great speech and the inspirational appearance of Senator Ted Kennedy, the common thread through the 6-hour session was Barack Obama’s work as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago.

Michelle and Obama’s sister, Maya Soetero-Ng, both talked about Obama passing on Wall Street to organize on the streets of Chicago. While not featured on the cable networks, we also heard from Obama’s organizing boss and mentor, Jerry Kellman. A host of Illinois politicians provided an inside view into Obama as both a community organizer and a State Senator.

The focus on Obama as community organizer validates the work of thousands of people working to improve their communities, block by block. It also provides the foundation for the essence of the Obama campaign — change. When speakers at the podium say that Barack Obama will deliver the change we need, I think that they understand that this change is made possible by an organized grassroots movement. It is this movement, now well-groomed by the Obama campaign, that got Barack Obama here. It is this movement that will take Obama to the White House. And it is this movement that will hold Obama and other elected accountable to the communities they serve.

Barack Obama delivers his big acceptance speech on Thursday night. I’ll be watching at Mile High, but for those of you in San Francisco, you can get some of the same flavor by watching with San Francisco Democrats…


RSVP now for our HUGE Obama watch party! Tickets are going fast!
On August 28th, Senator Barack Obama and the Democratic Party will make history at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.You, your friends and family are invited to watch Barack Obama’s nomination speech alongside your fellow Americans in a grand ballroom surrounded by eight enormous flat screen TV’s!

Join Us at this Historic San Francisco Celebration!

In order to RSVP you MUST click HERE.

When: Thursday, August 28th: Doors open at 5:30pm
Where: Hyatt Regency Hotel: Embarcadero Center

General Admission: $25 (Students, seniors and low-income $10)

Sponsorship Levels:
Delegate: $50
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RSVP and Purchase tickets online by clicking HERE.

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Chris Daly

Chris Daly is the Political Director for SEIU Local 1021, a union of over 50,000 public sector and non-profit workers. He served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 2001-2011 and owns and operates The Buck, a bar and grill on Market Street.

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Comments for Chris Daly – Live from Denver:
Barack Obama and Grassroots Community Organizing
are now closed.

  1. Damn, compared to women and people of color, LGBT have seen our rights materialize so rapidly after we began to organize that it is almost an embarrassment. Seriously, the late Del Martin founded the Daughters of Bilitis a little over 50 years ago, and while marriage is still controversial in some quarters, moving the bar to marriage has rendered job and housing discrimination non-controversial.

    As Obama said last evening, this is not about him, it is about us. That kind of other-centered politics is critical to building broad coalitions.

    The notion that unless I get every thing I want, nobody gets anything is the kind of selfish thinking that got us such gems as Prop 13, 187 and the like. We get what we can, when we can and then consolidate in victory to empower more ambitious campaigns.

    The future holds the truth as to what Obama can or can’t accomplish–never “misunderestimate” the ability of the Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory–but let’s hope that local Democrats who like to play the old school of politics, supporters of both Clinton and Obama, can learn to play the kind of new, collaborative politics that Obama suggests rather than the same old manipulative crap that has disillusioned so many from politics.


  2. I heard that Paul Colichman (publisher of The Advocate and Out magazine) has decided not to support Barack Obama for president because of Obama’s definition of marriage.

    A die-hard Hillary Clinton supporter, Colichman eventually came around to Obama. He wrote a check to the Obama campaign, but that was BEFORE seeing him speak before Rick Warren at the Saddleback Civil Forum. Both Obama and McCain defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

    “I thought, “Wow! He just threw the gay community under the bus.” My partner looked over at me, and we tore up the check,” Colichman said.

    “If we always vote for the lesser of two evils, if we accept their crumbs and platitudes, if we write checks to candidates who don’t stand up for us, aren”t we being self-destructive?” he said.